The Golden Ball is the most prestigious individual award in the world of the round witch, as the first award was awarded in 1956, that is, 63 years ago, and France Football newspaper created it and presents it every year to the best player in the world.
The Golden Ball award was awarded to the best European player from its inception until 1995, and this explains why the football legends Diego Maradona and Pele did not win it, as they did not have European citizenship, and even if the player was playing in the old continent, he was not competing for it as long as he holds foreign nationality.
France Football decided to amend the award in 1995, and gave it to the best player in Europe, regardless of whether the player had European citizenship or not.
In 2007, there was a new change in the Golden Ball, and it is now awarded to the best player in the world, and it is no longer confined to Europe only, but no player from outside the old continent has ever won it.
France Football relies on awarding the Ballon d’Or award to newspaper journalists around the world, so many see it as the most honest award in the world because the voting process is made by specialized people.
As with the Golden Ball, there are many stages and developments in the award for the best player in the world presented by the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), and it was established in 1991, that is, only 30 years ago.
FIFA continued to award the best player in the world award every year until 2009 when it reached an agreement with France Football newspaper, and the two parties decided to merge the two awards together under the name “FIFA Golden Ball”.
After their separation in 2016, FIFA created the award for the best player in the world in a new way, and called it “The Best.” The winner is chosen based on the votes of national team leaders, team coaches, and FIFA journalists from each country, in addition to the fans, so that each party gets a 25% of vote.
The merger between the Golden Ball and the best player in the world .. and the reason for the separation
In 2009, FIFA announced that it had reached an agreement with France Football newspaper to combine the Ballon d’Or and the best player in the world into one award after there had been a conflict between them in the past years, especially since each party was choosing a different winner from the other in some years.
France Football newspaper stipulated that the award remain as it is, in terms of form and name, and the International Football Association agreed to these conditions, but the name of FIFA was added to the award, to become under the name “FIFA Golden Ball”.
The agreement included changing the voting machines used in the former Ballon d’Or, so that FIFA journalists, coaches, and leaders of national teams participate in the vote, while the award is delivered in a ceremony held annually by the International Federation, with the aim of increasing media and public interest in the award, and achieving the highest percentage of profits.
The agreement remained in force between the two parties until 2016 when the two parties decided to separate due to their differences in views regarding the voting process and so on, as France Football newspaper saw that FIFA had turned the Golden Ball into a commercial award, while the International Federation was objecting to the proposals made by the French newspaper and its interference in a way continuous.
After this separation, each party returned to present its award individually, and FIFA decided at the time to launch its new award under the name “The Best” that Cristiano Ronaldo won in its first edition in 2016, while France Football did not make any change to the Golden Ball award, and it returned as in ex before the breakup.